Conflicts & War

Ethnic minority tribe protests to seek end to violence in northeast India

New Delhi, Jun 7 (EFE).- Around a hundred members of the Kuki community on Wednesday held a protest outside the residence of India’s home minister in New Delhi to seek an end to the ongoing ethnic violence in the northeastern State of Manipur.

Few protesters were allowed to enter Amit Shah’s residence and met his secretaries in his absence, to ask the government to stop the rival Meitei tribe from attacking the Kukis, one of the protesters, Lydia Haokip told Efe.

The ethnic clashes between the majority Meitei and minority Kuki communities have claimed almost a hundred lives and left 300 people injured, since the violence first broke out on May 3 in Manipur, according to Indian media outlets.

The home minister last week visited Manipur and met local authorities and community leaders including a Kuki delegation, promising them the violence would end and peace would return in the near future.

“Amit Shah came to Manipur and he said that there would be peace within 15 days, but there has been no peace (…) the Meitei community is still attacking the Kuki tribe,” Haokip alleged.

The situation in the remote hilly state has constantly been tense in the past few weeks, with the internet services remaining suspended for a month and a curfew in place in several districts.

The ethnic clashes began earlier in May after the regional High Court advised the inclusion of the Meitei ethnic group on the list of disadvantaged “scheduled” tribes.

The inclusion will allow the majority and predominantly Hindu community to gain access to quotas n in education and government jobs available to disadvantaged groups in India.

The violence has forced more than 37,000 people to seek refuge either in temporary camps inside Manipur or neighboring states.

“It is an ethnic cleansing, they want to clear up the Kuki tribe,” Haokip said.

Indian security forces have maintained a strong presence in Manipur now for a month to prevent further clashes between the rival tribes in sensitive areas. EFE


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